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Death of successful sire of sires Pulpit a big blow; AMERICAN ACE Son of A.P. Indy will go down as excellent influence on the breed.

IN KEEPING with many members of the Seattle Slew sire line, Pulpit has never made much of an impression in Europe but within American racing circles his impact has been immense, not only as a consistent source of high-class runners but as a successful sire of sires. His death last week aged 18 is a heavy blow to the American breeding industry as well as Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, which had stood Pulpit since his retirement to stud in 1998.

From the first crop of champion sire A.P. Indy, Pulpit was trained by Frank Brothers to win four of his first five races at three, including the Fountain of Youth and Bluegrass Stakes. An injury suffered when finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby ended his career.

Pulpit retired to his birthplace, Claiborne Farm, as the first major son of A.P. Indy to stand at stud, and until Bernardini he could fittingly be regarded as his sire's leading son in that department.

He is the sire of 63 stakes winners, including 11 at the highest level. Although he never struck a major chord in Europe his record includes Grade 1 turf winners Rutherienne and Stroll as well as dirt representatives of the ilk of Tapit, Sky Mesa and this season's Grade 1-winning juvenile Power Broker. Claiborne adopts a policy of restricted books, so his success has been achieved despite never siring a crop of more than 82 foals.

But it is as a sire of sires that Pulpit has been particularly impressive. Initially it did not look so promising when two of his first sons to stud, Godolphin's Grade 2 winner Essence Of Dubai (later the sire of 2010 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Dubai Majesty, right) and Sky Mesa, took time to get going with their runners.

Essence Of Dubai was later exported to Venezuela but Sky Mesa made up for a quiet first crop by siring two Grade 1 winners in his second. And there was even better to come through Tapit, whose fee leapt from $12,500 to $125,000 after the emergence of eight Grade 1 winners in his first four crops.

There are plenty of Pulpit sons still in the pipeline, among them Darley's Japanese resident Pyro, not to mention a potential top three-year-old for 2013 in Power Broker. With that in mind his influence should continue to strengthen.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2012
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